SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It is now official. 34-year-old Will Hardy is the sixth head coach in Jazz history.
Hardy, who will be the youngest coach in the NBA, signed a 5-year deal to replace Quin Snyder, who resigned three weeks ago after eight seasons at the helm.
Hardy joins the Jazz from the Boston Celtics, where he spent one season as an assistant coach, helping guide the team to its first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. He was also a member of the USA men’s basketball coaching staff that won the gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Prior to the Celtics, Hardy spent 11 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. He also served as the head coach of the Spurs entries in the Salt Lake City Summer League from 2015-18 and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in 2017 and 2018.
“The Utah Jazz are one of the most respected and successful franchises in the NBA and the fan base here is legendary,” Hardy said. “This opportunity comes with tremendous responsibility. I’m grateful for the trust the Jazz have placed in me and I look forward to the work ahead.”
“We could not be more excited to welcome Will Hardy as the next head coach of the Utah Jazz,” said Jazz owner Ryan Smith. “He has incredible experience and we believe in his continued trajectory. Danny and Justin ran a comprehensive process and we are confident Will is the right head coach to lead us into the next chapter of the Utah Jazz. Ashley and I and the entire ownership group are grateful to welcome Will, his wife Spencer, and their family to Utah.”
“Will Hardy is one of the brightest young leaders in the NBA,” said Utah Jazz CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “He understands the importance of setting a vision and creating a culture for players. He places great value on communication, player development and creating the most productive environment for players to succeed. His experience on coaching staffs that have made the NBA Finals and with USA Basketball are invaluable and have helped prepare him for this moment. We couldn’t be more excited for Will to lead the Jazz moving forward.”
“As our search committee went through this process, Will really separated himself among a group of extremely talented candidates,” said Jazz general manager Justin Zanik. “We’re eager to get to work with him as we continue our pursuit of bringing an NBA championship to Utah.”
Hardy began his career in San Antonio as a basketball operations intern in 2010 before being promoted to assistant video coordinator in 2011 and then video coordinator in 2013. He also served on the coaching staff for Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
A native of Richmond, Va., Hardy graduated from Williams College where he played four collegiate seasons for the Ephs while earning an undergraduate degree in English. He and his wife Spencer are the parents of two daughters.
The Jazz also announced that the team has hired David Fizdale as associate general manager. He joins the organization with 18 years of NBA coaching experience.
Fizdale most recently served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season and previously served as head coach of the New York Knicks from 2018-20 and the Memphis Grizzlies from 2016-18.
Prior to joining the Grizzlies for his first NBA head coaching assignment, Fizdale spent eight seasons (2008-16) with the Miami Heat as an assistant coach, including the final two years as assistant head coach under Erik Spoelstra. During his tenure in Miami, the Heat won back-to-back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013, and more playoff games (70) and series (15) than any other NBA team.
He also served as an assistant coach for one season in Golden State (2003-04) and for four seasons in Atlanta (2004-08).